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    I feel obligated to get this. I could work in our room... Am I crazy for considering this? Also, it's $35. Adorable cow and calf. Cute as a button, because that's her name. Another weekend, another window. Bigger, better, and brighter!

The Rachael

Nope, not referring to the popular 90′s Jennifer Aniston hair style that took the country by storm.  Meet our new sofa, Rachael by Flexsteel.  She’s slim, clean lined, and slightly vintage styled to play nicely with the MCM bench.


We sold the old three-piece sectional and put that money toward the new girl.  With nine button tufts along the back, there’s just enough interest on the tight back.


The fabric color, Earth, leans more beige in bright light, but gray in overcast conditions.


Ben really wanted leather, but I think this tweed like textured fabric adds a lot of comfort and warmth.  I paired with a faux cow hide pillow for a dash of Western flare.


Flexsteel offers a lifetime warranty on the frame, springs, and cushions, which should hold up to the four Y chromosome people in this house.


Now to find chairs to place perpendicular to the couch.  I’d love to add something leather here, assuming we find something we agree on.  Much easier said than done.

While we were at the furniture store, we noticed another Flexsteel brand sofa, the Dana, in the clearance section.  Priced at $600, we took Frank from American Picker’s trick and bundled to save over three hundred dollars, including a fabric warranty plan on the Rachael.


The fabric is slightly darker and more on the gray side, but a real upgrade from our old couch.


Slightly rolled arms are more traditional in style than I usually like, but still small enough to fit the space.


Taller legs on both couches make vacuuming under a breeze, too.  So far, I’m pleased with the new additions.  Fingers crossed we can say that years from now.

Goodness Gray-cious

My quest to repaint the entry, living, and dining rooms took a lot longer than I expected.  First painting the new crown and waiting for it to thoroughly dry.  Next, a last coat on the tongue and groove wall.


Followed up with a first coat of paint on the walls.  Then tackling the ceiling where my shoulder and neck started cramping.  I ran out of wall paint and went back to get a third gallon, but we had issues matching the color, so the walls are slightly different from my original color.  But, now these dingy peach walls:


Are no more.  Totally worth the days of plowing through.  Instead we’ve got fresh light gray walls to bounce the light around.  Make no mistake, the room is still one thousand miles from done, but much improved.


And hey, we’ve got a solid color.  No more patched sheet rock or paint swatches.


Unfortunately, I can’t say they’ll stay that way forever.  The too tall French door will become a standard window and the bay window a sliding door.  After replacing the windows, we’ll update the window trim to match the rest of the house.  If I nail down my stair railing plan soon enough, we might be able to replace it soon, too.  Say it with me, no more orange stained oak!


For now, I’m just happy to have baseboard (and the entertainment center toe kick!) and blank walls.


This was unfinished far, far too long.


Whenever I paint, I pull out every nail, patch it, and then start anew.  Which is why I have only a few frames on the walls.  Still deciding on the rest.


Even so, I’m not desperate to slap things up in an attempt to hide something ugly on the walls.


And that’s the power of paint.  Or love, as Huey Lewis might say.  Sweet, sweet victory.  Even if I will have to do it all over again after windows.

Hung Up on Horns

I’ve still got one coat of paint to finish the ceiling, but the rest of the entry, living, and dining room painting is done.  It’s amazing how much lighter and brighter everything looks.  Especially the entry.  Boy has it come a long way over the last month or so.  We started with this beige box of ugliness:


And now we’ve got a modernized, slightly rustic, light space.


Peachy beige walls looked sad and dingy, especially against my vintage Longhorns.


To create a light backdrop with warm texture (not the heavy knock down), Ben hung tongue and groove pine planks.


Installing simple crown moulding throughout the room for a crisp edge helped finish off the top of the accent wall.


And giving it three good coats of white paint to finish it off for a neutral backdrop.


Along with the freshly painted light gray walls, the room feels clean and fresh.


Not only does the tongue and groove cover the giant wall of knock down, it also acts as a huge stud wall.  Planks nailed into studs every 16 inches are completely secure, and the boards can easily hold the weight of art.



Don’t the horns and light fixture contrast nicely now?


Once our new windows come in, hopefully next week, we’ll replace the door and window.


Usually a fully white wall feels sterile and cold to me, but the knots and grooves keep it interesting.


I’ve never had an accent wall, but I have to say I love it.  Seeing the horns and light against it just makes me giddy.  My parents will be here soon, and I’m excited for my mom to see her horns proudly displayed.

The Ole Switcharoo

Unfortunately I’m still not finished painting the entry, living and dining rooms like I had hoped.  However, I did get a first coat on the ceiling and walls.  We hauled the big furniture out so I didn’t have to work around it.


While the sectional was out, I fully realized how much the big beast closed off the room.  Though I still have another coat to put on the ceiling, we moved the sofa, chairs, and coffee table to the living room.


When we replace the sectional, I want a normal sofa and two chairs.  It’s amazing how much bigger, brighter, and more open the living room feels now.  Walking completely around the couch is possible when it wasn’t before.


Seeing the open railing, and those coming in the door, is a great perk, too.  And having easy access to end tables?  It’s so convenient.


Cozy upholstered chairs would be nice along with a long, rectangular coffee table.


After nearly two years of living here with the same furniture arrangement, this feels so fresh and inviting.  And gives us an idea of what we want as replacement stuff.


For now, the sectional awaits its fate in the family room.  Where it awkwardly fills the space.


Though there’s still enough walking space to get to the back door, it’s much more cut off than the previous layout.


Most strange is the focal point it has to face.  The wall and entry.


The behemoth is 10 feet wide by 7 feet long, so it won’t fit in the 14 foot wide family room any other way.


Another annoying thing about this?  If centered on the rug, it’s close to the fireplace when lit.


Finally moving things around has made us even more sure we want to replace the sectional with a standard sofa and chairs.  Now to agree on the perfect couch, which is more difficult for us than it should be.  Ben wants leather, I want something with removable, flippable seat cushions.  Typically those two don’t go together, so a compromise must be made.

Worse Before Better

We’re making progress in the family room, after leaving it nearly the same since move in.


This is what progress looks like:


Yes, at first, progress always looks like a big mess.  It has to get worse before it can look better.  We pulled down the old, upside down (?!) crown before installing the new trim.  I forgot to take pictures, but here you can see it in the basement:


We know the previous owner liked to do things his own way, but we’re not fans of the look.  Especially compared to properly installed crown via This Old House:

So, down came the old stuff, leaving small nail holes in the ceiling.  Filling with joint compound isn’t difficult, just another step added to my list.  Two if you count sanding.


Along with caulking seams and filling nail holes in the new trim.  While I had the filler out, I removed all nails and spackled old nail holes (there were many).


Trim around the entry hasn’t gotten the full treatment yet, but will once we break the ladders out.  After that, painting the last white coat and walls.


We’re crownless in parts of the dining room until we swap the door for a window with a header.  At that point, we’ll run a solid piece across.


For now, and hopefully not much longer, we have a lovely patchwork of colors and textures.


I’m carving out time this week to get the trim, ceiling, and walls painted.


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